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The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption by Marie-Louise Von Franz

The web of destiny really is the fabric of one’s unconscious fantasies.

You see that for instance when people in analysis complain of bad luck all the time.

They find the wrong partner, they get into the wrong position, they make wrong choices, and then when you go into it deeper you find that they say to themselves, “I always knew it would go wrong, I knew that.”

Their animus, or anima, had already woven the fantasy that they were unlucky and always would be.

That is like a curse, a destiny that makes them do all the wrong things.

When they go from one bad situation to another, they always have that feeling inside,

“I knew it would all turn out wrong. With me it could not be otherwise. With me it will go wrong again.”

If you can fish up such a destructive fantasy from the back of their mind, make it conscious, then you can sometimes break the spell and stop that run of bad luck.

So weaving has to do with unconscious associations, unconscious fantasies that have a suggestive influence.

And you can apply that to all the amplifications I have made. ~Marie-Louise Von Franz, The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption, Page 70

Alcoholism is a famous abandonment syndrome. Many cases of alcoholism are due to either imagined or real abandonment.

Every alcoholic will talk about feeling unloved, alone, and so on, but sometimes it’s not true.

Sometimes there are people who care for them but they still feel that way. Others really are abandoned and drink for that reason.

Abandonment is an element that always comes with alcoholism, so you have to look for it.

That is why Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful.

The intense personal care is absolutely necessary to get over this abandonment syndrome.

To ensure the person really feels cared for, somebody must care daily, so to speak.

Otherwise one can’t pull people out of it. I would say that largely it is a love problem, a partner problem, an eros problem.

With women alcoholics it is generally a man problem.

In men it naturally takes the form of an anima problem, their eros problem, a woman problem.

Something doesn’t function with their anima; they don’t have the right contact with her.

And vice versa for women, contact with the animus is poor.

The way to the unconscious is blocked.

So there is a longing for an ecstatic religious experience. And that leads to alcoholism or other drugs.

Addiction in general, you can say, is a longing for an ecstatic religious state because life is dreary, meaningless and boring.

One’s work has no meaning, or the home life is cold and unsympathetic. Then there is this longing for an ecstatic state.

The dryness is not always in outer circumstances.

Sometimes the dryness is also in the individual. I have known cases where the person couldn’t touch their own emotion.

It was blocked, so to speak, imprisoned in a rational attitude and could not come out.

And in one case, a normally very shy woman drank because then she could be outgoing, and she enjoyed it, being emotional and talking to people, so she drank all the time to be able to do so.

It was a means to make the bridge to the unconscious.

So we see the emperor is not only cut off from the feminine, but also from the unconscious.

We can say that is a dried-out situation, which would mean that ruling in this country is one area of Christian civilization that has lost its inspiration, its inspired feeling, and has probably just become a kind of routine duty.

Thus there is a compensatory longing for an ecstatic experience.

In the other empire, it’s just plain no more love and no fertility and therefore, in the feminine realm, a kind of restless roaming about to find a solution.

All the movement in this story happens through the feminine. The empress goes over the sea. Then the cat takes the initiative.

The cat tells the hero to go home or back again. The cat tells the hero how to redeem her. The cat rules the whole story.

So, all the action is initiated by the feminine.

The story shows how the feminine principle brings up a healing compensation by becoming active.

The men just follow the orders of the women. That is clearly compensating a too patriarchal conscious situation.

One must understand that such fairy tales emerge to compensate the ruling attitude.  ~Marie-Louise Von Franz, The Cat: A Tale of Feminine Redemption, Page 130-131